Can I afford reconstruction?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 protects your right to breast reconstruction coverage.

The Women’s Health and Cancer Act of 1998 established legal protection for breast reconstruction coverage. According to the law, health insurance must cover all stages of breast reconstruction, ad infinitum. Any patient who has had a medically necessary mastectomy is entitled to the reconstruction of their choosing at any point, along with unlimited revision procedures.

It does not matter when your mastectomy or reconstruction were performed: if you are unhappy with your results, you may revise them at any time. Insurance is compelled to cover the procedures.

About the Women’s Health and Cancer Act of 1998

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) is a federal law passed on October 21, 1998 that protects patients who choose to have breast reconstruction at any point after a mastectomy. 

Despite what its title might imply, this coverage is not limited to cancer patients or women. Any patient who has undergone a mastectomy for any reason is entitled to reconstruction under the law. Protections extend to all stages of reconstruction, including:

  • All reconstruction stages of a breast on which a mastectomy has been performed
  • Surgery and reconstruction on the opposite breast to improve symmetry
  • Prostheses and treatment of all complications of all stages of mastectomy, including lymphedema.

To learn more about the WHCRA, click here.